Resource Image Tried and True: Extending paper chromatography inquiry

by: Kevin Finson
Free Offering
$0 - Member Price  
$0 - Nonmember Price


Type of Resource: Journal Article
Average Rating: Rating
 based on 5 reviews
Publication Title: Science Scope
Publication Date: 3/1/2004
Grade Level: Middle School


With some ingenuity and forethought, teachers can make simple modifications to a standard paper chromatography lesson that will improve student interest and extend inquiry learning. After separating the components of a water-soluble marker, students can collect, record, graph, and analyze quantitative data about their chromatograms.

Ideas For Use


Inquiry with Paper
Posted in Physical Science by Patricia Rourke on Sat May 28, 2011 3:28 PM

I and many other physics teachers often would challenge student design and creativity by having students participate in ...

Additional Info

Science Discipline: (mouse over for full classification)
Science process skills
Properties of materials
Intended User Role:Curriculum Supervisor, Middle-Level Educator, Teacher
Educational Issues:Classroom management, Curriculum, Inquiry learning, Instructional materials, Teacher content knowledge, Teacher preparation, Teaching strategies


Resource Format:
Size: KB
Installation Remarks:

National Standards Correlation

This resource has 6 correlations with the National Standards.  

This resource has 6 correlations with the National Standards.  

  • Content Standards
    • Quality Teaching
      • Deepens educators’ content knowledge, provides them with research-based instructional strategies to assist students in meeting rigorous academic standards, and prepares them to use various types of classroom assessments appropriately. (NSDC)
  • Teaching Standards
    • Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.
      • Select science content and adapt and design curricula to meet the interests, knowledge, understanding, abilities, and experiences of students.
    • Teachers of science develop communities of science learners that reflect the intellectual rigor of scientific inquiry.
      • Model and emphasize the skills, attitudes, and values of scientific inquiry.
  • Science as Inquiry
    • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • NA
    • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • NA
  • Physical Science
    • Properties and changes of properties in matter
      • NA

State Standards Correlation

Use the form below to view which of your state standards this resource addresses.

User Reviews

More To This Then Just Observing
  Adah (San Antonio, TX) on June 9, 2011
  Using a traditional paper chromatography activity, this lab extends the activity to form an inquiry lab that creates histograms of appearance of different (pattern) colors versus time for five different water based black pens. This extension has the students recording more data and can lead to further questions such as the mass of different colors of ink. This is more interesting than the traditional observational activity.

paper chromotagraphy
  Allison (Sioux City, IA) on November 29, 2007
  it was good

paper chromotagraphy
  Allison (Sioux City, IA) on November 29, 2007
  it was good

Visual Inquiry on a Shoestring Budget
  Patricia (Arlington, VA) on January 28, 2013
  Chromatography is a long word and can be a complex process; however, it may also simple be done in any classroom, elementary through high school, to encourage students to ask pertinent questions and to explore the constituents of commonly found colored items, such as marking pens and food coloring. The jist of this article is to use this method of exploring to guide students to higher order levels of questing. I think it would also be important to have students to a small research project on the uses of chromatography in medicine and other testing situations. Encourage students to correlate simple separation on paper with gas chromatography and the early identification of agents to counteract cancer as well as to look at lipid research. This article gives the hesitant teacher excellent background.

Take Cromoatogrpahy to a New Level
  Betty (Kansas City, MO) on June 28, 2012
  This good article is about how to take chromatography beyond just watching the colors separate on a piece of filter paper. It gives several inquiry activities that can take the investigation to a higher level of thinking.